The year 2003 heralds the 300th anniversary of the Russian city of St. Petersburg, and the historic Mariinsky Theatre, home of the world-famous Kirov Opera and Ballet, is celebrating with the installation of new, long overdue Selecon Pacific zoom spot ballet booms.

Performances by the prestigious Royal Ballet London, New York City Ballet, and Hamburg Ballet as part of the festivities provided the push that Vladimir Lukasevich, the Mariinsky’s renowned resident lighting designer, had been looking for. With support from his colleagues from the visiting ballet companies, the funding was granted to replace the outdated equipment on the ballet booms.

At the Mariinsky, as with most venues, the ability to multitask is vital, as the booms have to serve the Opera as well as the Ballet, and the Selecon Pacific zoom spots fit the bill for a variety of reasons, as Lukasevich explains. "Generally, the compact size of the 1kW luminaire and the fact that the light output is better and more effective then some 1.2kW units. However, the main reason for choosing the Pacific rather than, for example, a Source Four, is that the Source Four was designed in the US for 120V mains power, but we have 220V in Russia. As the light output is proportional to current in square, we have less to work with than our American or Japanese lighting designers from the same type of lamp. We have a big stage and cannot effectively use lamps with 575W or even 750W; we have to have at least 1kW. Also, the Pacific’s heat management system means that lamps and gels last longer."

Lukasevich is one of the original converts to the Pacific range, specifying and installing them in the Mariinsky shortly after their introduction to the market, and they have performed well in their established FOH and torm positions.